Sports News

Lukas Bauer, photo: CTK

Skier Katerina Neumannova is one step closer to a pair of belated Winter Olympic medals, after two disqualified Russian skiers lose an appeal. Meanwhile, with Neumannova on a career break to have a baby, Lukas Bauer proves she is not the only Czech cross-country star of international quality. Tennis ace Jiri Novak has won the curiously-named Golden Canary award, and the Czech teams left in the UEFA Cup have an uphill battle in next week's third round second legs. All those stories and more are in Sports News.

Bauer impresses in cross-country skiing world cup

Lukas Bauer,  photo: CTK
With the best-known Czech skier Katerina Neummanova taking a career break to have a baby, Lukas Bauer may well become cross-country fans new favourite, after achieving the greatest success of his career on Saturday with second place in a 15-kilometre world cup race at Kuusamo, Finland. Bauer was only three and a half seconds off first place and it was the best result of the 25-year-old's career. He was keen to share the glory after the race.

"I hope that somebody celebrates. My trainer Mira Petrasek will definitely celebrate at back-up team have obviously done great work and I'd like to thank them a lot - they really deserve it."

Neummanova one step closer to two medals

Katerina Neummanova,  photo: CTK
Getting back to Katerina Neummanova, the skier is now one step closer to a brace of belated Winter Olympic medals, after the appeals of two Russian medal-winners who were disqualified for taking drugs were rejected late last week. Neumannova stands to receive silver in the 15 kilometre free and bronze in the combination. She described the appeal decision as - along with her pregnancy - more pleasant news. One hurdle remains however; the Russians are taking the case to a civil court.

Novak wins Golden Canary (not a joke prize)

Novak wins Golden Canary,  photo: CTK
There were no surprises at Czech tennis's player of the year awards, with Jiri Novak winning in two categories, including the top prize, the amusingly-named Golden Canary. Novak is now ranked seventh in the world, and recently achieved the greatest success of his career by reaching the prestigious Masters Cup. The top prize in women's tennis went to Daja Bedanova, who like Novak has won the award repeatedly in recent years.

Uphill battle ahead of Slavia and Liberec in UEFA Cup third round

The two Czech teams left in the UEFA Cup, Slavia Prague and Slovan Liberec, face tough second round games next week. Liberec will need to win away to Greece's Panathinaikos, after a 2:2 home draw last Thursday in which the Czechs twice came from behind. Slavia lost away to another Greek club, PAOK Salonika; fingers crossed they can produce an impressive home performance - as they have in previous rounds - in the second leg. Staying with Slavia, the daily Sport has named their attacking midfielder Richard Dostalek the best player of the first half of the league season.

Chovanec keeping schtum as options narrow

Shakhtyor Donetsk of Ukraine have pulled out of a deal to sign the former Czech national football coach Josef Chovanec. The Pribram manager is unperturbed by the decision, and refuses to comment on speculation that he will join either Spartak Moscow or (as has been much discussed in the Czech sports pages) take over at Sparta Prague.

Pardubice leaving rest of Extraliga 15 points behind

There's just no catching Pardubice who are now a full 15 points clear at the head of the Extraliga after a 6:2 defeat of Ceske Budejovice. Slavia Prague are second, followed by Trinec, who were held to a surprise draw by the league's poorest side Havirov on Sunday.